Traveling around the world and experiencing different cultures is the greatest knowledge that a person can gain. I would imagine that travelers try to educate themselves as much as possible on the different languages, but that may not be enough. So, people bring along language books to help manage the language barrier.
If you have ever browsed through the travel sections at the local bookstore you may have noticed that the translation books can create extra weight in an already heavy bag. Wouldn’t it be simpler to have a translation service that can be accessed through your mobile device even without connecting to the Internet?
Ling Wong and his team of developers have created the Universal Audio Translator, or UAT, which is an application that is downloaded onto a mobile device. They “believe that the UAT is useful across borders and cultures, providing travelers a worry-free experience when venturing in a foreign country,” according to Kickstarter.
Wong and his team are asking for $2,000 through Kickstarter by April 9. Although the app is currently available, the team wants to use the funding to “improve the quality of the translations, as well as to make it more user-friendly for non-English speakers,” according to Kickstarter.
The UAT has 71 different languages available for translation, but only 46 for Android users and 30 for iPhones are available through audio. Wong describes the UAT as “a simple solution for a simple communication problem that we face every time we travel.”
The UAT works by having set phrases and words that are the most frequently used while in another country. Such as, “Where can I eat?” is featured on the UAT as a frequently asked question. It appears in the user’s native language and there is an option to choose which language the user wants the phrase translated into. After the UAT has been set to the preferred language it will translate the phrase.
There are two options of either reading the word/phrase or hearing it be said. More than 1,000 words and phrases are available for translation. According to Kickstarter, “User Language not restricted to English only. This means that German words [can be] translated into French if you speak German.” The UAT also makes it easy to access Google translate as a form to add and save words to the list of favorites on the app.
Another great feature is that the app does not require an Internet connection. “No other application out there does what UAT does on this scale and without the need of an Internet connection,” according to Kickstarter. “Most translation applications require an Internet connection or just support a few languages.”
The UAT can be customized into two themes: business or travel. The business theme focuses on words/phrases that would be used on business trips. The travel theme has words/phrases that are more tourist driven. With the funds provided through Kickstarter, Wong and his team of developers hope to increase the amount of “themes” available.
With Kickstarter funding, the UAT team plans to first update the most frequently used languages and from there work on updating the rest of the languages. They will also add more languages. “The number of languages that can be professionally translated is directly dependent on the amount of funds raised,” according to Kickstarter.
For pledges of $25 or more, backers will receive recognition on the credit’s page of the app. They will also receive “a free, one-time promotional code via email for lifetime access to the travel and business theme pack and related upgrades, available in the next update of the application,” according to Kickstarter. The update is set for release in July.
Other ways to help the UAT team is by downloading the application, writing a positive review, sharing the application, or by helping with the translation process by contacting the UAT team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the project’s Kickstarter page to pledge or learn more.
To download the UAT app for free visit the app store or Google Play.
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